♫ Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ♫

Last night after we returned from sharing Thanksgiving dinner with our friends, after the girls put away the leftovers and cleaned the kitchen (that’s our standing deal — I make the mess cooking and they clean it up while I take a break!), Chris started watching a biographical film about Elton John’s early years beginning in his childhood and going up through his rehab treatment after years of drug abuse and ultimately a heart attack.  I almost never watch television, but this one caught my interest so I ended up watching most of it, despite not being able to hear the music.  It was well worth the time spent, and now long story short, I’m in the mood to play some Elton John!  I debated between this one and Tiny Dancer … this one won out for today, but I suspect you’ll see Tiny Dancer here before long.


It goes without saying that the “Yellow Brick Road” image comes from the book/movie The Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum.  Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics to this and most of Elton’s other songs often seems to write about Elton, but this one appears to be about himself. The lyrics are about giving up a life of opulence for one of simplicity in a rural setting.

Speaking about the song, Taupin said:

“It’s funny, but there are songs that I recall writing as if it was yesterday. And then there are those I have absolutely no recollection of, whatsoever. In fact, I’d have to say that for the most part, if someone was to say that the entire Yellow Brick Road album was actually written by someone else, I might be inclined to believe them. I remember being there, just not physically creating.

There was a period when I was going through that whole ‘got to get back to my roots’ thing, which spawned a lot of like-minded songs in the early days, this being one of them. I don’t believe I was ever turning my back on success or saying I didn’t want it. I just don’t believe I was ever that naïve. I think I was just hoping that maybe there was a happy medium way to exist successfully in a more tranquil setting. My only naiveté, I guess, was believing I could do it so early on. I had to travel a long road and visit the school of hard knocks before I could come even close to achieving that goal. So, thank God I can say quite categorically that I am home.”

ben-jerrysIn 2008, Ben & Jerry’s created a flavor of ice cream in honor of Elton John called “Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road.” Made of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks, it was made to commemorate Elton’s first concert in Vermont (home of the ice cream makers) on July 21, 2008 at the Essex Junction fairgrounds. Elton had played every other state before his Vermont show. He had some of the ice cream before the show.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John

When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land?
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

You know you can’t hold me forever
I didn’t sign up with you
I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing, the blues

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

What do you think you’ll do then?
I bet that’ll shoot down your plane
It’ll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you’ll get a replacement
There’s plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

18 thoughts on “♫ Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ♫

  1. Believe it or not, Jill, this is the first time in my life I have heard the proper lyrics, and he actually sings what’s on the paper.
    Not that I live on a farm, but that’s about the life I lead now. 800 kms away from “real civilization” in Edmonton. Almost nothing happens in High Level. And I like it that way, after years of living in cities all across Canada. I could not have done this as a youth, but now this is what my body needs. My mind, however, is still involved in life — what it is, what it could be — dare I say what it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: ♫ Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ♫ | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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